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Bishop Packard on #OWS and Trinity, Wall Street

Bishop Packard on #OWS and Trinity, Wall Street

Bishop George Packard, the retired Episcopal Bishop to the Armed Forces and Chaplaincies, has apparently been trying to sort out the situation that exists between leadership of Trinity Wall Street and the Occupy Wall Street protestors who are intent on using property that Trinity owns. We’ve covered that story here.

Bishop Packard, in a blog post, worries that Trinity is going to be on the wrong side of history. He posted that concern on Trinity’s Facebook page. It has since been deleted.

His report:

“I’ve been doing reluctant shuttle diplomacy between the Occupiers and Trinity Church and in a moment of pique I posted this on Trinity’s Facebook page:

I have this great worry that this venerable parish will be on the wrong side of history in a few weeks. Surely there’s some consummate wisdom in the leadership that can offer Occupiers a chance to express their prophetic destiny in these days. It’s a matter of record that the church is good with the provision of service and succor for the neighborhood; they are unable, it seems, to understand their dynamic needs. Plainly said, this means looking afresh at lease arrangements for a season regarding the Duarte property. Think of it as offering hospitality to travelers from our future who bring the message of “no injustice, no more.” If we really saw OWS for who they are rather than putting up roadblocks in their path we’d truly delight in their coming!

I thought it was fairly innocuous but apparently they didn’t think so and deleted it an hour later. I’m actually sympathetic because who wants a rabble rouser in the system? But actually, I thought, wouldn’t this kind of conversation be active in the parish?

I really do believe, now, that the Occupiers will take control (or liberate as they put it) of the vacant lot adjacent to Duarte Park on December 17th. This does mean Trinity will be able to wait it out; OWS has a deep bench and a very long attention span.”

More here.

Bishop Packard has more to say about the Occupy movement, and tries to put it all into context in a later post.

Some background on Bishop Packard can be found here.


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One of the objects of a hungers strike is to demand a compassionate dialogue. In the past year, everyone from prison guards to arts administrators have been swayed to address the concerns of hunger strikers. It is disgusting that Trinity’s clergy lacks that compassion.

Brook Packard

Trinity’s handling of it’s Facebook page is even creepier than you think. Both my husband and I can see his post. However friends, family, and other supporters could not. I created a new Facebook account under a different name and his post was not visible. I logged on again under my real name and…presto change-o…back again!


My bad! That should be Bishop Packard. Sorry for the mistake.

June Butler


I have this great worry that this venerable parish will be on the wrong side of history in a few weeks.

I agree with the bishop.

That Bishop Packer’s comment was deleted at Trinity’s Facebook page is surprising and disturbing to me. Whatever side you take in the debate, squelching dissent does not seem wise.

June Butler


As I put it at his blog:

Well put, Bishop Packard; and more power to you. And we can recall that tides are the work of God. We all need to be looking to see if this “tide” isn’t a work of the Holy Spirit.

Marshall Scott

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